Claude Monet and his famous Water Lilies paintings

Claude Monet and the Impressionism Movement
Claude Monet and the Impressionism Movement

Claude Monet was born in Paris on 14 November 1840. He was five years old when his family moved to Le Havre. Le Havre is a seaport town on the northern coast of France. Monet loved the sea and outdoor activities. He explains why he didn’t like school:

I could never bend to any rule, even as a very small child. . . the school always seemed to me like a prison.”

However, he gladly attended drawing lessons. His favorite type of drawing was caricature. He used to walk along the beaches and make caricatures of the tourists. His drawings were appreciated. The tourists bought them for 10-20 francs each pieces. Referring to this success, Monet said: If I had continued, I would be a millionaire.”

At 15 years old, decided to become a painter

This decision was determined by the friendship with the painter Eugène Boudin. Boudin painted outdoors, brightly colored landscapes. One day he invited the boy to paint beside him. Monet was surprised how the artist managed to reproduce on the canvas the appearance of the beautiful landscape in front of them. Boudin convinced the young Monet to become a landscape painter, to paint outdoors and to capture the play of light in his works. Monet remembered: I understood what painting could be. . .my destiny as a painter has opened before me.”

Claude Monet and the Impressionism Movement
Water Lily Pond (1917 – 1919)

Claude Monet and the Impressionism movement

In 1859, Monet moved to Paris. He took lessons at the Académie Suisse, a private studio. Here he met other young painters who were disappointed by the lessons taught at the Academy of Arts. He befriended Camille Pissarro, Frédéric Bazille, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, who would later become famous. They used to meet at Café Guerbois, and talk about art. These meetings played a significant role in founding the Impressionism movement.

The Impressionism movement is characterized by a concern with depicting the visual impression of the moment, especially in terms of the shifting effect of light and color

Because they did not paint according to the rules of academic painting, the works of the Impressionists are not accepted at the official Salon. So, the Impressionists organized a total of eight exhibitions between 1874 and 1886.

Monet had a family and could hardly afford a decent living. He, like the other artists in his group, did not get financial rewards from the Impressionist Exhibitions. But the Impressionist Exhibitions were important because they managed to draw attention to new trends in art and help young painters find support from the great art dealers.

Monet and his series of “Water Lilies”

In April 1883, Monet rented a house in Giverny. There, Monet created a flower garden. From 1890, Claude Monet gained financial success and he spend a part of money to make his garden more bigger and beautiful. In his garden, Monet painted especially his series of “Water Lilies“. It is a series of approximately 250 oil paintings. He also created the series “Rouen Cathedral”, “Poplars”, “Houses of Parliament”, “Morning on the Seine near Giverny”. 

If you’re interested in finding other articles on our site about art, here it is: Another Discussion about Art: Amazing Monet.




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